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A personal sentiment from Samara Slingbaum on the crisis in Ukraine

Ukrainian flag

A personal sentiment from Samara Slingbaum on the crisis in Ukraine

While interning for SeKON last summer helping the ECCM FEHRM support team develop the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Guidebook in collaboration with ATARC, I began spending my weekends as a volunteer for an international agency helping tutor Ukrainian teenagers in Kyiv in English over Zoom. During our hour-long conversations each weekend, I made some amazing Ukrainian friends, such as nineteen-year-old Anastasia. I learned just as much on those calls about Ukrainian life and culture as she did about the English language.

When Russia invaded Ukraine last month, my contact with Anastasia suddenly stopped. I later learned she was hiding in her basement protecting herself from the Russian bombs being dropped on Kyiv. Recently, I was able to make contact with Anastasia again via direct messaging on Instagram, whereby she told me that she and her mother were safe in a refugee camp in Poland after a dangerous, several days long trip across the country to the border. Unfortunately, her father was not able to join them, because the Ukrainian government requires men to stay behind and help defend their land from the invasion.

My heart goes out to Anastasia, her parents, and the hundreds of thousands of other refugees from Ukraine going through the same situation as my friends there.

In light of recent events taking place in Ukraine, SeKON is making a corporate donation to Global Empowerment Mission to assist in providing relief efforts for the families and children affected by the on-going crisis.

This nonprofit has organized a welcome center at the border of Ukraine and Poland. Donated funds will help support refugees with relocations assistance, such as transportation, lodging, and airfare; it will also help with other initiatives, including war-zone evacuation of those still in Ukraine and getting aid directly into Ukraine.

If you’re interested in supporting people affected by the war in Ukraine, consider donating directly to the following organizations that have been vetted by Forbes-